Choosing a VoIP service provider can be a daunting task for many people. With more and more people and companies embracing the world of voice over internet protocol, numerous VoIP service providers have cropped up to offer the service to both private and business customers. Although many of these providers claim to be the best in the industry, only a couple of them provide quality service and value for your money. Knowing exactly what to look for in the service is one of the best, and recommended, ways to find the right service provider.
Here are ten factors to consider when shopping for the service.
1. Quality of service.
This should be the first thing to look for in a service provider. While you may be shopping for the most affordable provider you can find, you still need to be assured of quality service with no dropped calls or poor voice quality on the other end. It is also worth noting that, a quality business VoIP call depends greatly on the broadband connection. While some providers may offer a dedicated service for this, you still need to consider your internet connection speeds and necessary equipment.
Price is one of the critical considerations that most consumers consider while shopping for a service. With the increasing number of service providers, VoIP services are getting more affordable by the day. The price difference between the best provider and the cheapest one you can find will be just a few dollars. You however are better off with a quality service charged at a few more dollars than the cheapest option.
3. Customer Support.
Customer support is a crucial factor to consider when shopping for VoIP service. Look for a service provider offering customer support all day long, seven days a week. Avoid companies that only provide customer support a few days per week.
4. Satisfaction guarantee.
Many companies tout themselves as the best in the industry. Identifying the best from the lot can be a daunting task, which is the reason you need to ask for satisfaction guarantee. Some of the best companies allow customers to try their service for 30 days. They even offer money-back if you choose to cancel the subscription/contract within the first 30 days, and especially if you are not impressed with the service. All this comes at no extra cost.
5. Company size and experience.
Although some new companies may offer an equivalent of what established companies may have to offer (regarding quality), you will be better off with already established companies. Some of the small companies may go out of business or even lack the sophisticated facilities and equipment needed to provide unrivaled service.
6. Plans offered.
Look for a company that provides more than one plans for the service. Most companies will provide more than 3 VoIP plans to allow customers choose the most preferred option. You, however, need to decide on the best package based on company needs.
7. Local area codes.
Always look for a VoIP provider offering local area codes. This will help avoid your friends and customers from getting charged for long distance calls, and especially if they are calling with a landline.
8. Extra features.
Go for providers offering additional features to the package at no extra cost. Some of the useful features to look out for include call filtering, caller ID, conference calls, call forwarding and call waiting.
VoIP phones use different protocols and mechanisms when compared to analog phones. For this reason, you need to look for a provider offering an enhanced 911 (E911) service. This not only enables you to make emergency calls but also allows the local dispatch center to get your name and address automatically. This can come quite in handy when in an emergency situation.
10. Testimonials and reviews.
Be sure to look for authentic customer reviews and testimonials of the provider before making the final pick. You can also find quality reviews from different review websites online today. Look out for companies with a tainted image and bad customer reviews.You can call the company to inquire more about their service, and what to expect should you sign up for their service.